By Martie Thompson
Danni Thompson is a busy woman. Like many women at her stage in life, she balances a full time career and family … but she also adds a second career, one which she feels gives her the ability to perform well in all aspects of her life: Registered Yoga Teacher. Originally from Plano, Texas, Thompson decided to go “away” to school in Florida. With her mother’s family living in Tallahassee, Florida State University became her school of choice and she graduated with a degree in finance. She started her banking career while still in college and moved up through the ranks of Bank of America, then BB&T and finally, Deutsche Bank in Jacksonville, where she met her husband, Chris. As her career blossomed, so did her family; she and Chris are parents to Zenai, age 10 and Zoe, age five. Currently, she is a Licensed Investment Advisor for Merrill Lynch and also a small business owner of HerDivineYoga, which offers small group/private yoga and, recently, virtual yoga as well.
Q: Why did you decide to try yoga?
A: With my career taking off and having a family, I began to experience anxiety. My doctor suggested I try yoga or running to try to alleviate some of the symptoms. I gave both a try and fell in love with running first. Then I began meditating and fell in love with yoga. I decided to launch my business to teach other women to be the best version of themselves — while doing it all.
Q: What drew you to yoga?
A: First, it was how I felt afterwards, very calm and peaceful. Secondly was the meditation aspect. When dealing with anxiety and depression, you’re often in a heightened state, ruminating on fear. I learned to calm my mind and to be an observer of my thoughts instead of allowing them to control or overwhelm me. Yoga teaches me to love myself exactly where I am.
Q: What does HerDivineYoga offer?
A: We offer in-home sessions and virtual sessions, which can be private or group sessions for drop in. I’ve noticed that lately people are wanting eco-yoga … meeting in a park or on the beach, anywhere outside to soak up the sunshine. Currently, I have three restorative yoga classes for which I have partnered with a gym in Palencia. I also lead a Restore and Heal class virtually on Sundays.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I like running and am an avid reader. I especially like self-development books and biographies. I also like spending time with our neighbors; we live in a great community for raising a family. Recently, we have a new family pastime: baking. My specialty is chocolate chip cookies, but we have made a bundt cake and one time my husband and daughters even made French macarons, which are very complicated.
Q: What advice would you give busy women?
A: I would say, decide at the beginning of the day what kind of day you want to have. Calm? Productive? Energized? Then, jot down things to help you accomplish your goal. I would also say, be mindful that 2021 can be a year of healing for us all. Maybe try to show some extra compassion or be open to difficult conversations — with yourself or with others — while always having an open heart.
Photo courtesy Danni Thompson